earworm

working with listening transcripts 1

Today I would like to share a couple of ideas on one of the most overlooked -and useful- things we can do in the classroom: working with listening transcripts. They tend to be considered as reference material for the students to check -if anything- at home to, perhaps, look up words they may not know from it. However, they are very useful not just as … Continue reading working with listening transcripts 1

past simple for beginners ( a matter of common sense)

At which point in a Beginner or even Elementary course do you introduce and teach the past simple? Here’s a guide. It has always bugged me that Beginner textbooks do not introduce the past simple until half way through the book. So it sadly transpires that students will not start using the past simple tense until a few months into their English course. This is … Continue reading past simple for beginners ( a matter of common sense)

songs: fill-in-gaps with a twist

This is one of my favourite song activities ever. It focuses on having a look at relevant vocabulary from a song by means of a dictation (again, with a twist), on having the students mingle and help each other with meaning and then doing your typical fill-in-gaps. Finally you may decide to allow time for some speaking interaction with the target vocabulary. Select 10-15 key … Continue reading songs: fill-in-gaps with a twist

one-minute videos 2

About a year ago I discovered a nice collection of one minute videos recorded by Hugh Dellar and Andrew Walkley. Each video recording features an English expression which is clearly explained and presented with examples from real life conversations. You can find this collection housed in their Youtube Channel Lexical Lab. I shared a generic way of exploiting these videos for all language levels in … Continue reading one-minute videos 2

summer series: three reading activities

Wrapping up the summer, this is the last post for the summer series before I start blogging again with new content. This time the focus is on reading activities. Once again, click on the links for the full posts. In from reading passage to interview, students turn a reading passage into an interview. They read -and understand- a text and then get into pairs and … Continue reading summer series: three reading activities

summer series: three vocabulary activities

Time to highlight three blog posts focusing on vocabulary revision, recycling and practice. Linguist David Wilkins (1972) wrote: “without grammar very little can be conveyed, without vocabulary nothing can be conveyed”. Let’s have a look at some of my favourite vocabulary activities. Once again, click on the links for the full posts. In dictation 1 students review words and expressions from previous days by means … Continue reading summer series: three vocabulary activities

summer series: three speaking activities

It’s time for another summer series. This time I will be focusing on speaking and here is a selection of three blog posts that have drawn a little bit of attention over the last couple of years. Click on the links for the full posts. In speaking: from specific to general I argue how much more productive it is to think of very specific questions … Continue reading summer series: three speaking activities